News from NKU…

For immediate release…
Thursday – Nov. 29, 2012

NKU Social Work Professor Appointed
to Project Casa Mare Board of Directors

– Northern Kentucky University Associate Professor of Social Work Dr. Linda Wermeling has been appointed to the board of directors of the Project Casa Mare, an international project whose mission is to develop and promote the social work profession in countries with transitional economies.

The need for the social work profession was brought into focus following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The financial shift created a category of countries with "transitional" economies – countries moving from socialist to a mixed socialist/capitalist economy. This economic turn may increase social stratification and exacerbate many social problems.

Many universities in transitional economies desire social work academic knowledge, professional skills and training to help meet the new challenges. To meet this need, Project Casa Mare is championing a globalized standard for social work education and the enhancement of the stature of the profession.

The Project Casa Mare has offices in New York City, with headquarters in the Free International University of Moldova (ULIM), Chisinau, Moldova. The project also includes work with Cuba and China. ULIM and the project’s board of directors have already established the Center for Education, Research, Professionalization and Promotion of Social Work in Transitional Countries. The staff and directors have begun to expand social work curriculum based on international standards and to create a new cadre of Master of Social Work to be deployed in agencies within Moldova and beyond.

The four main projects include: promoting the social work profession according to accepted global standards of pay, roles, placements, education, accreditation and licensure; developing curricula for participating universities that ensures social work students in countries with transitional economies are equally empowered through knowledge, skills and practical experience; liaising between social work agencies and academic institutions in countries with transitional economies and those in democratic countries; and facilitating research and international publication.

The Board consists of the directors from ULIM, social work faculty from American universities and University of Iasi, Romania. Dr. Wermeling is one of seven American social work faculty serving as directors.

Dr. Wermeling began her international social work as a member of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) inaugural delegation to the University of Havana, Cuba, last summer. Her research focuses on the history of the social work profession, retention of the profession’s workforce and professional curriculum enrichment.

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